An Observational Eye: Art by Marilyn Joyce

A mixed media drawing of something like a mapMapping the Approaching Storm #1, tea ink, graphite and watercolor on Arches paper

Marilyn Joyce uses layered media and an observational eye to create her works. The artist’s work references natural outdoor environments in a subtle way, often using pale, subdued colors and abstract forms.


A mixed media artwork of a subdued land mass or mapLand Mass #2, tea, ink, watercolor, graphite, water-soluble pencils, and cold wax on Arches paper


I really enjoy Marilyn’s recent drawing works, which have been produced using mixtures of materials like tea, graphite and cold wax. These abstract images read a little like ancient maps, yellowed and faded with age, depicting unknown land masses. In a number of these works, small circular or rectangular moments of saturated color seem to act as markers, though for the most part the viewer is left to interpret them.


The front page of Marilyn Joyce's art websiteThe front page of Marilyn's portfolio website


In her mixed media works, by contrast, Marilyn uses actual maps as her medium, deconstructing them and shredding them into thin strips that are then repurposed as an abstract textural layer over a panel. In recent iterations of this process, Marilyn has placed these map strips over birch ply panels that are cut into specific shapes to resemble state and county borders. 


A mixed media artwork made from strips of paper adhered to an odd-shaped panelOregon Reconfigured #2, map strips on birch ply, fluorescent paint and cold wax

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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